The issue of sea-level rise and its implications for coastal communities in New Brunswick has become a
growing concern as climate change science continues to advance our understanding of the issue. Previous work, supported by the Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association (ACASA) and Mount Allison University, documented the significant flood risks facing the Tantramar region. Recently published sea-level estimates for an 8.9m, 1-in-10 yr. storm surge, for instance, could overtop approximately 90% of the existing dyke system and temporarily inundate 20% of the town of Sackville, New Brunswick. In an effort to better understand the economic costs associated with climate-change related flood risk, this study was conducted as part of a partnership between Green Analytics and Mount Allison University, and was funded by ACASA, Mount Allison University and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Sea level estimates were obtained from Daigle (2012) and combined with assets-at-risk (e.g., residences, warehouses, etc.) within a geographic information system (GIS) housed at Mount Allison University. Using a regime of climate-change scenarios and known assets-at-risk, three objectives were defined to:
- characterize the existing (or baseline) potential damages associated with storm surge flooding;
- characterize how these potential damages are likely to change with predicted increases in climate change-related sea-level rise; and
- demonstrate how adaptation scenarios can be analyzed for their effectiveness in reducing exposure to flood damages.
For this case study, the cost of potential damages of flooding in Sackville were assessed by economic sector, including: residential, commercial/industrial, agriculture, and public. Damage estimates were then organized to depict flood damages for a range of climate change futures and adaptation scenarios, ultimately forming the comparative analysis.